Take a trip to the spa! Or maybe better yet, bring the spa to you? Wren-Collective.com has a great tutorial and pattern on how to make a rice warmer frog. This is a great beginner sewing project that you can really make your own. Wouldn’t these be a great gift idea to put in a spa package for a friend or family member?

Personalize it…

I love the idea of having this shaped like a little frog. I also liked that you can follow this tutorial and really make a rice bag in any shape and size that suits you. You could also consider adding some calming scents in with the rice to give it a little extra spa”ness”.

This rice warmer tutorial provides the suggested size and materials needed to make a frog rice bag. You can also use it making adjustments to it to get a personalized look. One example is, how easily this could turn into a turtle. However, I really liked the look of this frog, and you know any tutorial that includes a free pattern is a win in my book.

Not ready to sew this project yet? Save it on Pinterest for later…


FLANNEL RICE WARMER TUTORIAL FROM WREN-COLLECTIVE.COM

MATERIALS NEEDED:
  • Flannel pillowcase OR 1/2 yard flannel material OR (2) fat quarter of flannel (appox. 18″x21″ each.)
  • Printable template of frog (link found at bottom of blog post)
  •  Scotch tape
  •  Freezer paper (optional)
  • Paper scissors
  • Fabric scissors
  • Fabric marking pen
  •  Quilting pins
  •  Buttons for the eyes
  • Approx. 6 cups of white rice
  • Funnel
  • Pencil with eraser
  • Needle + thread
  • Sewing machine
ASSEMBLY:

First, print your frog template. He was too large to put on one page, so you’ll print the top and bottom half separately, cut out both pages, and then tape them together where the solid black dashes meet. He is already slightly asymmetrical and rustic looking, so don’t worry about getting this part perfect.

 

Tape your two template pieces together where the bold solid lines meet (as shown above.)

This next step is optional, however I do recommend it if you are planning on making more than one of these frogs. The freezer paper will allow you to fold up the template for storage and then iron out the wrinkles later on before making another frog. If you are doing this step, then just trace the printer paper template that you just taped together onto freezer paper and cut that out with your paper scissors.

Now, take your flannel fabric and fabric marking pen and trace around your template. You want to make sure that the two sections of whatever you’re using are WRONG SIDES TOGETHER when you’re tracing around the template (as demonstrated below.)

Once you’ve traced around the template, I find it useful to place a few quilting/sewing pins inside the frog shape to hold both layers in place while you cut along the line you traced.

After your two pieces have been cut out, you will want to sew on the button eyes onto one of the pieces before continuing on. I usually just eyeball (ha, pun sort of intended) the placement of the buttons. Keep in mind you will be sewing with a 3/8″-1/2″ seam allowance, so you’ll want to place the buttons further up to account for the seam allowance. The photo below demonstrates where I generally place and sew my buttons. If you’re not familiar with how to sew on buttons, it’s very easy. HERE is a great YouTube video demonstrating how to do this.

Once you’ve sewn your button eyes on, place both pieces RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER and pin around the edges. You’ll want to leave an opening a few inches in diameter that you will NOT machine stitch (as demonstrated in the photo below.) You will use this opening to turn the project ride side out in a later step.

Sew around the frog with a straight stitch and relatively short stitch length (I usually do around 2.0-2.2) and using a 3/8″-1/2″ seam allowance, making sure to leave an opening to turn the project later (as shown in the photo above.) After you’ve stitched around the frog with a straight stitch, reinforce your straight stitch with a tight zig zag stitch. This step is optional, but I always try to make the frogs as strong as possible since the rice adds some weight and stress to the seams. You could also stitch a second straight stitch if your machine doesn’t have zig zag capabilities.

After you’re finished sewing your seams, take your fabric scissors and snip the fabric up to the seam line (making sure you don’t actually cut the seams) to ensure the seam lays nicely once the project has been turned right side out.

TURN, TURN, TURN

Now it’s time to turn the frog right side out. I find that a pencil with an eraser does a great job of turning along the seams to make sure everything lays nice. Place your pencil (eraser facing the inside of the frog) into the opening you’ve left and run the eraser along the entire seam, taking special care with the feet and mouth.

FILLING YOUR FROG

Now, the fun part! Take your funnel and rice and fill up your frog! I usually use six cups or so, but it’s completely personal preference on how full you would like your flannel rice pack to be.

HAND SEWING:

Once you’ve filled your frog with rice, take some quilting pins and pin the opening of the frog closed. Hand stitch this opening closed with a needle and thread. I use an invisible stitch (also called a ladder stitch) and do it as tight as possible to make sure there is no rice spillage. I’ve been making these for 15+ years now and have never had a frog come open on me (knock on wood.) If you’re unfamiliar with how to do an invisible stitch, HERE is a good YouTube video.

And that’s it! You’re all set. How adorable are these guys?! I hope you love them as much as I do. To use the flannel rice pack, I put mine in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, depending on how hot I want it to be. You can also stick them in the freezer to use as a cold pack. Enjoy!

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Joan Mantini

About Joan Mantini

After several years of being the Facebook page owner at Beginner Sewing, I noticed there was a desperate need to have a single go-to spot for members to be able to find answers to their common questions, get some useful tips & tricks, as well as find reputable places to purchase sewing products online. Taking my role as a trade publication editor by day, and combining it with my knowledge of frequently requested beginner sewing advice, I created www.beginner-sewing.com. An outlet that gives new sewists a free digital magazine geared for entry level sewing as an extra bonus!

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